Livor Mortis Blood Settling

1. Livor mortis is the purplish-red discoloration of the body after death by the settling of blood.

2. Blood will settle in the blood vessels with gravity in the dependent areas of the body.

3. Some dependent areas will not be discolored because the bones underneath the skin will compress the skin against a hard surface and prevent the blood from settling in the capillaries.

4. Livor mortis is noticeable approximately one hour after death and becomes "fixed" in about 8 hours.

5. When livor is fixed, the color will not blanche under pressure and will remain in those areas even if the body is repositioned.

6. There may be a slight discoloration in the new dependent areas even though the blood remains fixed in the original position.

7. Fixed blood seen on a nondependent location indicates that a body has been moved after death.

8. Livor mortis will be visible until the body becomes completely discolored by decomposition.

9. Cold weather, refrigeration, carbon monoxide poisoning, and cyanide poisoning will cause the livor to be bright red.

10. Livor mortis is more difficult to determine in dark-skinned individuals.

11. Ruptured blood vessels may occur in dependent positions such as hanging. These ruptured areas are called Tardieu spots.

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